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2014_05_12 L2L_Patient

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
{1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV, emphasis added}

I’ll admit when I sat done to write this series, I was quite nervous. I have never felt adequate as a parent, but I have always believed that my love for my children would ultimately shine through all my shortcomings and mistakes. Yet now it was my love for my children that I was evaluating. But I took a deep breath and began anyway. Then I read, “Love is patient”, and thought, “Oh, I’m done for!!!” See patience has never been my strong suit, but, considering how patient the Father has been with me, I knew it was time to get intentional about building this skill!

What is patience?

[blockquote border_color=”#be92cf”]According to Thayer’s, the Greek word rendered as patient here means “to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart; to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles; to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish.”[/blockquote] [blockquote border_color=”#be92cf”]Webster’s defines patient as “able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people; done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying; bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain; not hasty or impetuous; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity; able or willing to bear.[/blockquote]

I want you to take time to read over those definitions carefully, because the words that God uses to describe things are very important. Patience is not just about grinning and bearing it or holding your tongue. It is about maintaining the peace in your spirit through difficult moments, keeping your calm so that you can make the most of the ministering or teaching opportunity before you, and trusting Him to provide you with all you need to make it through that moment.

Why is patience with our children so difficult?

I have always wondered why I could muster up so much patience for others and get so frustrated in my home. Over time I have realized there are three main reasons why it seems harder to be patient with my own children than with others.

1. I live with them! When you are with someone day in a day out, ignoring something that rubs you wrong is not usually a long-term solution that you are going to have success with. These issues must be dealt with resolved for the harmony in the home to continue.

2. They’re mine! My children have many of my personality traits. {I know. I find it a bit troublesome too.} This is especially true with my oldest. Often times this means we clash in our stubbornness similarities.

3. I want the best for them! Most often I get frustrated with them because I know they are destined for greatness and I want them to be the best they can be.

Why is parenting with patience so important?

It is in those moments when we’ve been in the same space together for too long, or we are locked in the fruit of our own stubbornness similarities, or I can see them shunning their potential that I as a mom am in the greatest position to show them the character and nature of God. It is in that moment that I need take a step back and inhale His peace so I can minister and teach His Truth according to His plan for their lives. It is in that moment that I have the power to show them what being a child of God feels like. But when I don’t take that opportunity and use it for all it’s worth to elevate His Presence in their lives, when I choose to instead bulldoze the situation and construct my will, then what impression do they get of God from what they see in me?

See patience is about more than learning how to control your temper or how to maintain your peace. It involves lengthening your spirit so that it better reflects His upon the situation. It involves being calm enough to think clearly and find a way to make this a teachable moment. It involves giving that moment your focus so that you can make the most profound impact possible.

How does one build intentional patience?

Building patience most often seems so daunting because we attempt to apply it to everything at once. We boldly declare that we are going to be more patient and then feel like a complete failure the next time we are less than patient. Well, this time the plan is different!

Start by making a list of the top five things that you regularly have trouble being patient with and order then by priority. Then pray over the list. Open your heart to God’s will and take time to listen for his response. This may even mean putting the list to side for a couple of days.

When you feel ready, take a look at the first thing and write out the following:

1. Why it bothers you.  Dig deep into this one and explore all the options. Sometimes the things that irritate us are connected to something completely unrelated that needs to be dealt with.

2. What you would like to see happen in its place. Explore what it would look like if it was gone completely.

3. Is getting rid of it in your child’s best interest? Look at whether this is something that they are going to need later in life. There may be a way to mold it into a productive life skill.

4. Make a plan of action. Write out exactly how you plan to go about teaching them diligently. Plan ahead and practice that plan so that in the heat of the moment you are already prepared and know what to do.

Deal with each thing in this manner, taking time to focus on one area at a time. It will seem like everything is an emergency at this point, but resist the urge to take on more. Conquer that list one by one, going as slow as needed to make a positive impact and apply grace liberally along the way. Your children will learn the patient and gently nudge of the Shepherd’s rod through you and be much more open to His discipline and guidance throughout their lives.

I pray you patience and endurance beloved!~

Surrendered to Him~

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{Be sure to check out the entire #Learning2Love series!}

How do you practice intentional patience in your home?

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